New York Tech Meetup July 6, 2010
Usual round-up of tonight’s NYTM with my brief annotations.
Betterfly.com – A personal betterment site. “Learn look and feel better.” Helps independent freelances find clients. Online booking system, availability is displayed and clients can book freelancers online. Nice look site, looks like it could be rails, Web 2.0 polish. Not sure how this site will distinguish itself or if it will gain traction, but it looks nice.
HotPotato.com – Man how many social networking status-updating sites does the world need? A FourSquare-like idea, creating a “structured status update,” you can connect immediately to other people doing the same thing at the same time.
LearnVest – dedicated to making women savvier about their money. Focused on a specific audience, women age 23-50, who control 83% of household financial decisions. Learnvest bootcamp: Intensive 3-week program. Financial planer “lite” online. Check all that apply screen gives users options to describe their lives (buying a home, having a baby, trying to save, etc), will produce a personalized action plan. Nicely done site, clearly feminine-oriented design (Is it cool for me to write that?).
Frontal – A markup & scripting language that generates flash, built on open web standards, makes it very easy & fast to add dynamic content to your website. I guess they’re trying to compete with HTML5? Seems dumb to me. Their markup looks like CSS. Text-based, SEO friendly.
Foodspotting – A hyper-local visual guide to highly rated dishes. “You can see visually just as you would peruse a bakery window.” Find out how to get to the restaurant, leave reviews for your peers.
Next came one of my heroes, Clay Shirkey, giving us a teaser from his new book Cognitive Surplus… trying to type this fast (he thinks fast and talks even faster).
“Digitial sharecropper” – Andrew Carr. the phenomenon of people uploading content to pubicly traded companies. The idea that people should be bitter about commercial companies offering these kinds of motivations. Why are people being generous with our emotions and creating these shared stories. Not because it is so surprising, but because our previous view of human nature is so flawed.
“Generosity as a design problem”
These sites are in the business of providing platform for us to create value for eachother.
HowAboutWe.com – create amazing first dates. You propose a date. “How about we spend an afternoon exploring the furniture warehouses in greenpoint.” These ideas gets sent out to other members of the site. Very innovative idea, well received by this crowd.
StuffBuff – “a new way to buy and sell online” I guess it is like eBay but you can chat with the sellers? Features: embed code lets you embed the auction onto other sites – blog, facebook, etc. The crowd was a little dubious that this would take off. The owner wanted to make the case that having an “action” on your blog (“right where you’re browsing”) was gonna making buying easier cause it was “right there,” but I think maybe people didn’t quite seem to, ahem, buy that.
Jetsetter – incubated by Gilt, luxury travel sales. Like Gilt, employs “flash sales,” product sells for 5 days or less. Photography heavy, seductive images of the places. Daily email goes out gives them a wealth of statistics about people’s interests. “Things go on sale today you have to look at it today – that creates urgency and propels engagement with the content.”
comiXology (http://comics.comixology.com) – You can buy full comic books on your mobile devices. “Guided interface” – pans the comic book in the order you’d read the comic (showing the panel on the left, then panning to the right, in the order of the dialog). They have some partnership with DC Comics. “The distribution of comics has not kept up with the form.” He lists a number of recent movies based on comic books. “What that says to me is that comics really do resonate. They resonate in a way that distribution hasn’t kept up with.”